Michigan Presser

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  1. Diddy81

    Diddy81 Walk On

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    Michigan Presser

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    Coach put away the tissues no need to cry.

    Great start to the season thus far, what has been the key?

    Huge matchup against Iowa looming, what's the plan?


    How has recruiting been going for the Big Blue?

    Is this team ready to take back the Big 10 this year?
     
  2. jca312

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    Great start to the season thus far, what has been the key?

    No question, the key to our start this year has been defense and the running game. We struggled mightily throwing the ball early on, so we put more of the workload on Vincent Smith and Michael Shaw. We’ve gotten some big turnovers, which has bailed us out a couple of times and our defense is Top 5 in the nation against the run. Tate has settled down in the past couple of weeks and looked like the confident quarterback we knew he was. We’ve played more of a power game this year because of our passing struggles, but that has opened things up for Tate. Defenses have been so worried about stopping the run that we’ve been able to sneak in some passes in windows left open by the linebackers.

    Huge matchup against Iowa looming, what's the plan?

    Our main focus for the Iowa game was stopping the run and taking care of the football. They are so good on the ground that if you turn the ball over, they will grind out long touchdown drives and you put yourself behind the eight ball. It’s always an interesting contrast and test of wills when you have a Top 5 running game against a Top 5 run defense.

    How has recruiting been going for the Big Blue?

    Recruiting has been going very well. We’ve only lost a couple of the top recruits we targeted, but the success we are having has played a key role in recruiting. Bottom line is, Michigan is a great place to go to school, we have a rich football tradition, and we are showing people that the program is headed back in the right direction.

    Is this team ready to take back the Big 10 this year?

    I think we have done everything we needed to do during the offseason and early part of the season to put ourselves in a position where we can be included in that conversation. Iowa was the first big hurdle and now we have to get ready for Penn State. Ohio State is obviously the Goliath at the end of the season, but I keep telling our guys that we have to focus on the next game and make sure we are taking care of everything to make that game in Columbus mean something. I think everyone was counting us out before the season started, but we think we have a pretty good team here in Ann Arbor.
     
  3. Diddy81

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    Coach the media has not given your team the proper hype, have you enjoyed avaoiding th hoop la?

    What changed at Michigan for you guys to be able to be this close to a Big 10 and possible BCS Championship?

    WHo has led this team and made sure they showed up every Saturday?

    What worries you the most about OHio St. ?

    How does it feel to be off the hot seat
    ?
     
  4. jca312

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    Coach the media has not given your team the proper hype, have you enjoyed avoiding the hoopla?

    It has been nice letting our performance on the field do the talking this year. Given our play in the past couple of seasons, I don't really think we deserved any hype. We really needed to prove ourselves on the field this year and show that the program was headed in the direction that those inside knew it was.

    What changed at Michigan for you guys to be able to be this close to a Big 10 and possible BCS Championship?

    Our defense really stepped up this year, for me, that was the biggest difference. I know that Troy (Woolfolk) is getting a lot of the credit being a finalist for some of the awards, but I think it was a real team effort on that side of the ball. Everyone really bought into our philosophy and played together really well. Unfortunately, the wheels came off a little bit in Columbus at the end, but we are still in a good position for an At Large BCS Bowl berth. It was nice to be in contention for the National Championship going into our last regular season game and we will look to build on that going forward.

    Who has led this team and made sure they showed up every Saturday?

    I give all the credit to the kids, all we can do as coaches is watch film and gameplan really. The kids have to go out there and play. They're the ones carrying the ball, catching the ball, scoring touchdowns, making tackles, and getting stops. We had some great senior leaders that didn't want to leave this amazing institution without honoring the tradition of Michigan Football. They were embarrassed about the perception of the program and were willing to put in the time and effort to put it back where it should be. The seniors made it crystal clear to the underclassmen that wearing the winged helmet is a priveledge and an honor. Suiting up in Maize and Blue does not win you any football games. They really brought a toughness back that was missing and created a new winning culture in our program. I'm really grateful to those guys for the commitment they made and the attitude that they've instilled. All of the success that is coming in the near future is owed to them.

    What worried you the most about Ohio St. ?

    What didn't worry me about Ohio State!?!? No, they are a very talented team with a roster littered with NFL talent. We have a great respect for those guys, but we don't fear anyone. That was a great measuring stick game for us. We saw what a championship team looks like and though we made huge strides towards being one, we still have a ways to go. The biggest lessons we learned in that game is how valuable every play and every possession are. We were down by 4 at halftime, turned the ball over on our first two possessions of the second half and all of a sudden we found ourselves at the bottom of Mt. Everest trying to figure out how we were going to climb it. I wish things had turned out differently for the seniors, but what we learned in that game was invaluable and will serve us really well in the future.

    How does it feel to be off the hot seat?

    The thing about the "Hot Seat" is, it's just a media invention. If I'm not putting pressure on myself to win every single game, I shouldn't be in this job. When your goals are Big 10 and National Championships, there is no room for taking your foot off the gas. I put more pressure on myself and our team than the media or administration ever will. No one is unhappier than I am when we're not performing on the field. We are not satisfied with this season, we will allow ourselves time to celebrate when we are lifting that crystal ball, until then, that is what we are working towards everyday.
     
  5. Diddy81

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    Coach you actually played "somebody" in a ranked Oregon team, week 1, how did Gardner play in his first start?

    What did you find out about the identity of the 2011 Wolverines?

    Will the other two QB's play or is this just a one man show?
     
  6. jca312

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    Coach you actually played "somebody" in a ranked Oregon team, week 1, how did Gardner play in his first start?

    He played really well. The staff was really pleased with his performance. He didn’t make any bad throws, the interception was tipped at the line of scrimmage and wasn’t his fault. He ran for a couple first downs and ran the read option well the few times we called it. I think he’s going to be a special player.

    What did you find out about the identity of the 2011 Wolverines?

    It was more of a confirmation. I think we played pretty well for a first game. I saw a lot of good things, but we do have things to work on. We lost Troy Woolfolk from our secondary and anytime you lose the best defensive back in the nation, you’re gonna feel it and have an adjustment period. I thought the new starters on offense and defense did well. We have another big test this week when Notre Dame comes in, so we will see how our young guys respond to the pressure of a rivalry game.

    Will the other two QB's play or is this just a one man show?

    Right now, Devin is our guy, but you can’t get too comfortable when you’re on top because there are two guys behind you fighting like hell to take your spot. Devin will start this week, but we are always going to be evaluating the situation and we feel that we are in good hands with any one of those three guys back there.
     
  7. jca312

    jca312 Walk On

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    Coach, a hot Missouri team is at hand in this one, what do you know about the Tigers?

    I know they have one of the best quarterbacks in the country, an underrated defense, they are a well coached team, and the game is on the road. Those factors are enough to scare any head coach. On top of all of that, we got lucky and caught Missouri early last year before they figured things out, so I’ve spent all week trying to convince my young team not to put too much weight in that game from last season. Bottom line, this game is a nightmare for us as a coaching staff.

    Seems like Coach Hack has righted the ship with Missouri but can you expose any weaknesses?

    I’m trying to break in a new quarterback and this is going to be his first road start. I’m glad he got two games under his belt, but this is a whole different beast. We have too many unknowns of our own to worry about what their weaknesses might be. If we can go out there and play good, disciplined football, that’s all I can ask for. At the end of the day, win or lose, I want to be able to look back at the game and say we played as well as we could and left it all out there on the field. If we can do that, I will be happy with whatever the result is.

    Is this a big game for Michigan or have you had to add extra motivation for the boys to get up for this one?

    We’ve only had one good season, we aren’t at a place where we can say this game is a big game, but that one isn’t. They’re all big games for us. If we are going to put this program back where it belongs, we have to go into every game like it’s the biggest game of the season and we have to keep our focus. I want our kids confident and believing that we can win every game, but they also need to understand that without putting the work in, we won’t be successful. No one is going to lay down for us, we have to earn and fight hard for every game we are going to win. That is the mentality we have instilled in the team, so I better not have to add any extra motivation.
     
  8. Diddy81

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    Coach Michigan sits in a familiar spot at the top of the rankings, how is the team compared to your latest teams?

    What is the motto for this season? You have been in great postions but lose the Big Game and lose the Big 10 and National Title shot.

    Your record is perfect, but there is always something to improve, what is that?
     
  9. jca312

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    Coach Michigan sits in a familiar spot at the top of the rankings, how is the team compared to your latest teams?

    We've still got a lot of the same guys that have been here, so I'm really excited about this year's team. We are more experienced and we've got good leaders that are stepping up and taking charge of the team. Devin Gardner has played with great poise and I think this year you will really see why we were so excited for him. Vincent Smith is back and we're gonna give Fitz Toussaint some run in various packages to keep Vincent on the field because he has been plagued by injury the past few seasons. Roy Roundtree is off to a great start and I don't see many people being able to shut him down. On defense, we are pretty solid. Renaldo Sagesse and Craig Roh do a great job up front for us and make it really hard for our opponents to run their stuff. Kenny Demens has been great as the Mike Backer quarterbacking our defense. We've got juniors and seniors seeing a majority of the snaps in our secondary and they've all been on the field for 2 and 3 years, so we're not running into the same problems that comes with youth and inexperience.
    What is the motto for this season? You have been in great postions but lose the Big Game and lose the Big 10 and National Title shot.

    Finish. We've been in a position to win it all heading into our last regular season game the last two years. We got blown out in Columbus two years ago after playing them tight for a half, then last year, a late pick sealed our fate. I like the progress we're making and I would gladly go into battle with this squad against any team in the country. There is a confidence in our program that was missing before.

    Your record is perfect, but there is always something to improve, what is that?

    We need to take care of the ball and we still miss some assignments on both sides of the ball. We go to practice everyday trying to get at least 1% better, if we can do that, I can see us possibly holding up that crystal football at the end of the season. That's our goal and these kids have put the work in since I've been here to make that goal a realistic possibility, which is how it should be for this program.
     
  10. Diddy81

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    Michigan takes on Iowa for the outright lead in the Big 10, is your team feeling the pressure?

    You have the experience edge, do you think that will factor in this game?

    Will the Big House be rocking enough to rattle these young Hawkeyes?

    The number 1 defense vs the #4 scoring offense in the nation, what will you do to keep the Hawkeyes from lighting the scoreboard up?
     
  11. jca312

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    Michigan took on Iowa for the outright lead in the Big 10, was your team feeling the pressure?

    We feel pressure every time we take the field. We set a team goal at the beginning of the season to win the National Championship. We've come up a game or two short the past couple of seasons, so our kids have a sense of what it takes to get to where we want to be. Whether it's Iowa or some FCS school, the pressure to perform is the same. We need to handle each challenge as it comes and the last challenge was Iowa. We took care of that and now we are focused on our rivalry game with Minnesota coming up this week.

    You had the experience edge, do you think that factored in this game?

    If you look back at the first year when we were 11-0 heading into Columbus and in a tight game at halftime, I think you saw that our lack of experience really did us in that day and we got blown out. The Big 10 is such a competitive conference that the small intangibles are often the difference. I felt like when we got out to a lead and got a couple of turnovers, they got rattled. They'll bounce back though and they're going to be a force to be reckoned with going forward.

    Do you think the Big House atmosphere rattled the young Hawkeyes?

    I think we have one of the best atmospheres in all of college football and this isn't an easy place to play for anyone. There's really no way to prepare for it if you've never experienced it, which many of there guys hadn't. I think we have one of the best Home Field Advantages in the country.

    The number 1 defense vs the #4 scoring offense in the nation, what did you do to keep the Hawkeyes from lighting the scoreboard up?

    Our defense has to be one of the fastest units in the country and we've got a lot of guys that have started for a few years. Knowing where you and everyone around you is supposed to be allows you to play much faster which can look like chaos to a young opponent. I feel like they weren't getting the looks they expected and we were able to take advantage of that by way of turnovers. I am very pleased with the performance of our defense so far this year, but that side of the ball will face some very big tests coming up here at the end of the season, so we will see how they hold up.
     

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